Think of it as the “open mic night” of defense spending.
Every member of the House will have the chance on Tuesday to make recommendations for what should be in this year’s defense policy bill, which is produced by members of the House Armed Services Committee.
The annual “Member Day,” which is held like a regular, multi-panel hearing, gives lawmakers who do not sit on the panel the opportunity to advocate for military concerns back in their districts, such as supporting a base or keeping funding for a weapons program.
The event was started so that every lawmaker would have a chance to make the case for “why they wanted things in the bill. And we would listen to them as long as they came,” said former Armed Services chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), who began the tradition and retired at the end of the last Congress.
Likewise, panel members know they had “better pay attention because sometime in the future, the tables could be reversed,” McKeon told The Hill.